Thursday, October 24, 2013

YA author shenanigans at VWF 2013

Maureen Johnson and Maggie Stiefvater were interviewed by Shannon Ozirny, a librarian, in the Vancouver Writers Fest Fantasy@Six event. Fun times! If you are among the legions following them on twitter, you already know how entertaining these authors can be. Maureen and Maggie (these women are so informal that I'll stick to first names) easily wrestled control from Shannon, teasing her about her sheaf of papers. Shannon explained that she would rely on her notes if she got flustered, but she stored them under her chair after more pressure from the authors. Later, Shannon made an accidental double-entendre (something about getting off) and the audience roared. Shannon reached under her chair, restoring her notes primly to her lap. More laughter. That was pretty much the tone for 90 minutes.
Meanwhile, outside, a dog was forced to
pose as the Red Baron. (I learned, btw, that
Maureen Johnson is crazy about her dog.)

At one point, Maggie leaped up to investigate a sound coming from behind the curtain across the back of the stage. Maureen joined her, noting for the audience's benefit that the fabric was corduroy. She pushed it aside to reveal the festival bookstore (Kidsbooks) on the other side and swiped a blue stuffed hippo from a top shelf. Back in their seats, Maggie told us about meeting with her German publishers a while ago. They wanted to know about her next project. She excitedly described to them The Scorpio Races, and the dangerous, mythical water horses therein. Their faces fell. She tried to convey how sexy they were, but the publishers were not interested. Water horse, it turns out, is German for hippo.

When it was time to read from their works, Maggie got a couple of volunteers from the audience, plus Maureen, to perform a readers' theatre excerpt from The Dream Thieves along with her. Maureen's facial expressions elicited more peals of laughter.

Thank you to the festival for this inspired pairing!

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